The Dungeon Crawler Carl books continue to keep me entertained, even after multiple re-listens. Book four – The Gate of the Feral Gods – is no different. The author Matt Dinniman continues to amaze me with how much sheer plot he can weave into a story while delivering unique situations on each level of the dungeon.
Dinniman sprinkles in the clues throughout the story, with sometimes seemingly non-meaningful items having a significant impact, while others, you know they’re a major deal, but how they’ll be used isn’t obvious and keeps you guessing.
Book four opens on floor five of the dungeon, and Carl, Donut, and Katia find themselves in the middle of a sandstorm. As they stumble across “Hump Town”, we start to get the first glimpses of what this level is like.
As I mentioned, the sheer volume of plot Dinniman packs in is frankly astonishing. I recently listened to a podcast where he talks about his Patreon followers voting on what to add to the story. In this instance, he needed to work in a puppy. When I first heard him talk of it, I thought that sounded lame, but even that left me floored when I found out exactly how well he took that idea and ran with it.
The story does start off a wee bit slower than the others, but there’s a lot of world to be set up. The floors are getting more complex the deeper they go, so that’s to be expected. Once everything started clicking into place, I listened until the batteries in my earbuds died, sat around pissed off until they recharged, and then dove straight back in, listening to almost one in the morning until the batteries died once more.
The secondary story of where Carl is determined to bring down all the galactic governments behind the show really begins to get kicked up a gear in this one. Previously, he had been like a grain of sand in the gears. Now Carl seems to be losing patience with the whole thing and takes incredible risks to raise the hell out of the stakes.
Narration by Jeff Hays is phenomenal yet again. In my humble opinion, his vocal talents are perfectly suited to the cast of characters, delivering a beat-perfect reading and an immersion into the world that’s second to none.
If you’ve not yet listened, then I urge you to jump in on book one and get listening today. You might just earn yourself a “Neeeeeeew Achieeeeevment!”